On one of many recent frigid days, Prime Manhattan broker Robert Danker had more than wet feet and windburn to complain about. Having scheduled a viewing for a full-floor unit listed for $12.5 million at the tony One Madison, Mr. Danker became victim to last-minute cancellation when a client begged off—citing inclement conditions and confirming the broker’s hunch that his “buyer” was less than serious. Fortunately, Mike Pardee, executive producer at The Mission—a California-based visual effects studio—waited in the wings. Though Mr. Pardee planned to see a more humble unit at 7 East 17th Street, asking $3.5 million and in need of serious work, he arrived that day equipped, Mr. Danker told us, with both enthusiasm and imagination, entering contract the very next day on the live-work space. Read More
Lou Reed manager, facilitator of albums by the Who and Eric Clapton and breeder of the champion racehorse Zenyatta, Eric Kronfeld, a tough-talking lawyer and record executive, died last spring after a battle with cancer. He passed his last years comfortably, though, in a regal home eminently suited to a man of his prowess in matters both commercial and equestrian.
Sources tells us that the new owner of Mr. Kronfeld’s townhouse at 38 East 68th Street, which just sold at ask for $12.49 million after less than three weeks on the market, is a man whose professional concerns center on shipping and real estate. But he certainly spends like he can afford a polo pony or two. And Francis O’Shea, who held the listing at Leslie J. Garfield & Co., told us with a chuckle that the buyer felt no need of a big mortgage. Read More
If there is one thing the fashion and interior designer, author, artist, real estate developer and all around composition maven Bradley Bayou understands, it is symmetry. Symmetry, his artist’s statement says, is the one scientifically-proven “timeless evolutionary trait for sexy.” (For the record, the Observer has yet to hear the term “sexy” uttered in the context of lab work.) The trait naturally figured in Mr. Bayou’s 2006 fashion manual The Science of Sexy, and it was no doubt on his mind when he and William Morris Endeavor board member and Hollywood super agent Mark Itkin, went real estate shopping recently in Chelsea. The townhouse they settled on at 353 West 20th Street—for $4.95 million, about a half million less than the $5.5 million ask—does not immediately suggest sexiness. But then, Mr. Bayou is good with makeovers. Read More
Were we Seattle-based doctors in the market for a Tribeca co-op, it would probably never occur to us to seek out an available unit inhabited most recently by a renowned architect and interior designer. But now that we think about it, that’s probably not such a bad way to go about things. Whether Linda E. Day conducted her search in quite so calculated a fashion we cannot say with certainty, but whatever the case, she’s just picked up Danish architect Thomas Juul-Hansen‘s old place at 138 Duane Street for $2.4 million, according to city records. Town Residential’s Susan Green and Brett Miles shared the listing. Read More
Last year, when CEO of the eminent structural engineering firm Thornton and Tomassetti Thomas Scarangello and his wife Roxanne Donovan—who heads up the real estate PR firm Great Ink—were looking for a new place of their own, they turned to the Upper East Side’s Philip House, for an $8.2 million condo conversion with ample prewar charm. Never far from the scrum of property peddling in their professional lives, the pair entered the action again this week—this time for personal reasons—selling a much more modern combination in Zeckendorf Towers at 1 Irving Place for $3.05 million, according to city records. Read More
The two co-op buildings at 115 East 67th Street and 116 East 68th Street, the New York Times noted in 2011, are “covered with storks, monkeys, pelicans, owls, hounds and a particularly uncuddly set of rabbits,” carved from stone. (The rabbits do indeed seem to have been inspired by Donnie Darko rather than Peter Cottontail.) Built by John D. Rockefeller in 1930, the Milan House—a name the structures share—is connected by an Italianate garden at the buildings’ flanks, and is, the Times continued, “most civilized within,” despite wild exteriors. It was no doubt partially that air of civility that drew Robert A. Dupuy, the one-time COO and president of Major League Baseball, and his wife Edith to the building on 67th Street, where they lived in a duplex on the fifth and sixth floors. But perhaps they have grown tired of that stony menagerie, or maybe they’ve just wearied of New York winters, because the couple has sold the apartment for $5.77 million, according to city records, more than a tuppence short of their $6.75 million ask. Read More
In the 1980s and early 90s, when jazz greats Branford and Wynton Marsalis owned the townhouse at 374 Washington Avenue, no one dreamed that their then-gritty Clinton Hill neighborhood would soon be attracting private equity honchos and celebrity chefs. It’s debatable, really, whether your average New Yorker would even have heard the terms “private equity” and “celebrity chef” in 1983, when the Marsalis brothers acquired the house. But the state of affairs in Clinton Hill has changed; city records show that Aren and Aliya LeeKong—he a principal at the private equity firm KKR, she a chef and culinary creative director at the Michelin-starred Junoon—have picked up 374 Washington at the asking price of $3.75 million. Read More
Home to diplomats and financial titans of yesteryear, Hollywood types and captains of industry, 1 Sutton Place South, a Candela structure dating to 1926, has ample reason to cling to tradition. “This is a very, very selective building,” June Gottlieb, a broker at Warburg Realty who has done work in the building, recently told The Observer. “It always has been. It still is. It always will be.” While other old-world co-ops like River House have relaxed once-unforgiving interview processes and begun to allow financing on purchases, 1 Sutton Place has remain unchanged. That all transactions at the building take place in cash reflects and perhaps facilitates the quiet and unflashy preferences of residents. “There is still a very elegant, understated stock of people in this building. They want to stay under the radar.” Not even the most reclusive co-op owner can hide from city records, though, and before long, the buyers of a unit in the “A line”—the building’s fanciest—last listed for $14 million and newly in contract, will be revealed. (Unless 1 Sutton does the unheard of and permits the buyer to use a limited liability corporation.) Read More
Time was, if you weren’t in need of scented body oil or beaded, polyester lingerie, cut-rate hair extensions or a three-year-old Blackberry, you might well have steered clear of the retail strip on Broadway between 26th and 31st Streets. Called “Whodi”—for “Wholesale District”—by those in the know, the area had spent years in scruffy obscurity since its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the Ace Hotel opened in the old Breslin building in May 2009.
New York dubbed the Ace “a hotel for successful rock stars, and their emulators,” and its success invited the arrival of the NoMad, which the Times called “the Ace for grownups,” a hotel whose “name was coined in part to give some shine to the newly hyped triangle north of Madison Square Park.” Seeking to cash in, too, on that hype is Mocal Enterprises, the owner for 35 years of the Centurian Building at 1182 Broadway, which has lately been converted to luxury loft apartments. Leasing on the first 20 of the 39 total units opened this month through Douglas Elliman, with occupancy expected in March. Read More
The Wall Street titan Martin Zweig, who died early last year, has been in print of late more for the lavish properties that his financial wizardry earned than for the wizardry itself. There is the Fisher Island home in south Florida, where he spent his last days, and the Georgica Beach house, where his former wife Mollie F. Zweig has run afoul of East Hampton authorities for dune-related machinations. There’s the $12 million apartment in the Pierre that his widow Barbara D. Zweig picked up in August, and there is, of course—drum roll, please—the Pierre penthouse originally listed for $125 million, and reduced mercifully in December to a mere $95 million. But from the spoils of Mr. Zweig’s fortune we can now subtract one item—an eighth and ninth-floor unit at 625 Park Avenue, which Mollie Zweig has just sold for $21.5 million, according to city records. Read More